August 31, 1963


JAMA. 1963;185(9):724-725. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090056021

William Cheselden, preceptor of John Hunter, was born in 1688 in Somerby in Leicestershire, only a short walk from the Roman encampment at Burrow-on-the-Hill.1 His first communication to the Royal Society, dispatched at the age of 24, described the skeletal remains recovered from a Roman urn. Cheselden's family were well-to-do graziers. Pre-medical education embraced classical Greek and Latin; medical education included apprenticeship at the age of 15 to Wilkes, surgeon of Leicester, and, successively, he became a pupil of William Cowper, anatomist, and James Ferne, surgeon and lithotomist to St. Thomas' Hospital. Formal education was completed, and an academic career began with admission to membership in the Company of Barber-Surgeons. Lecturing in anatomy, started at the age of 22, was followed in three years by the publication of the Anatomy of the Human Body. A syllabus for the lectures, prepared in Latin, was included as an appendix in the

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